Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bastards Of Our Youth

Not in an illegitimate sense.

Family. My family has always been a family of three. Me, my mom and my dad. No one's truly ever been allowed into the circle, as far as I've witnessed it. It's always been about the three of us. I've never thought it was really a bad thing. In fact, I thought that everyone's families were this way. I was surprised to discover that the stories of families being more than the parents and children, but the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and family friends...they were all apart and this was real and happening, not archaic and tribal.

So I was shocked to find out that someone outside of my preconceived familial circle was so negatively affected by the way me and my family have viewed family. That she carried burdens of resentment through her adolescence and into her adulthood. It pains me that she hurts because I was a bastard child who thought there was only room for three people to matter in the world. And you'll believe whatever your parents tell you when you're little.

And don't try to say that I couldn't have been that bad. I was a little bastard kid. Even my mother said so.

So I was the bastard of her youth. My family was the ivory tower to her reality. While I have grown up, I can see how this view of family has made it so difficult for me to maintain relationships outside of my immediate circles. It makes me want to have the biggest, most open family for my children. That's why my closest friends will be their aunts and uncles and I will not stop having children until there is enough love in my house to warm the nation.

Maybe that's a bit much. And I'll probably have to consult with my wife.

I want at least two though.

So my own parents turned out to be the bastards of my youth. And we were the bastards of my cousin's youth. It hurts, but the latter isn't my burden to bear. She was 5, I was 7. How were we to know any better? I love her now. That's all I know, and that's all I can give.

As for me and my bastard parents, I love them too. And my issues with relationships are things I'll have to work out for myself. It's a good thing I've got an eternity to do that.

Something tells me time is good to a bastard.



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